SAS1284

10+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2007
30
0
Status
Attending Physician
Hi, I am starting medical school this fall and am searching for a lab to do research in this summer. Ideally, I will continue to do research in the lab during the year/next summer. I have gotten offers from both a lab headed by a PhD and one headed by an MD. Both labs are interesting and publish often, however, I was wondering if anyone knew if there is any advantage to work with an MD over a PhD or vice versa?
 

SplenoMegastar

MS4
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2008
129
51
Status
MD/PhD Student
I think you will get many different opinions on this, but here's mine. If they both publish often and in decent journals that does help level the playing field some. Having worked with both, I would say go with the person that you think will be the best mentor. If they are both doing good science and you are very interested in both projects, how well your personality fits with the PI's is the other most important thing to think about. If the MD has a clinical practice that you might have some exposure to, or if they are doing more clinical research and that's what you want to do too, that could be an advantage.
 

frikarika

RADIOHEAD
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2006
278
1
Planet Telex
Status
Medical Student
I've worked with both MD's and PhD's in research labs and generally it does not make a difference. The only benefit to working with a MD is if that person is in charge of a Clinical research lab, so you could interact with patients. Otherwise a MD working in a strictly basic science research lab is essentially just a glorified PhD.

BTW where are you going to school? Your MDapps says at you're from Kansas....Rock Chalk.
 

kevster2001

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2004
1,350
2
Status
Medical Student
Go with someone who has had experience working with medical students. Your time is extremely limited and the goal is always a publication. That being said, MDs usually work on clinical research and those tend to take less time, have less hang-ups, and tend to be accepted for publication more often (assuming the data is of value).

I'm working a surgeon this summer that has worked with med students the last 2 summers and they've all been pub'ed for their efforts. *fingers crossed*
 

Monica Lewinsky

10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
228
0
Status
Medical Student
FWIW, MDs tend to be connected with others in their specialties, which can give you help when you match. A well-respected PhD researcher may trump this, especially if the research you do is quality.

I don't think that your decision should come down to these rather meaningless designations. Pick the project you like and try to pick a project that is likely to turn decent results.
 

Pinkertinkle

2003 Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
5,004
79
Status
Attending Physician
MD is what i would recommend. They just understand your needs a lot better than those life long PhD's.
 

SugPlum

10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2007
117
0
???????
Status
Medical Student
I worked with both MDs and PhDs in lab research before med school. Research itself was similar. Some MD researchers may take students to clinic if they have clinical service.

Not all MD researchers have clinical service. There is an MD-PhD prof at my school who never did residency. Another example is pathologists doing research; they won't be able to bring you to clinic since they don't see patients.